Ben Gaines is Senior Product Manager for Adobe Analytics. While at the Adobe Summit 2017 in London, Nicolas Malo, Optimal Ways’ founder, had the opportunity to interview him on the latest Adobe Analytics updates. Previous interviews were performed in 2015 and 2016.


Nicolas Malo: What are the 3 top changes for Adobe Analytics during the past 12 months?

Ben Gaines: I have actually 4 of them!

1. Analytics Cloud: this new focus is very exciting and inspiring. Although, it has been possible to share segments from Adobe Analytics to Audience manager for years, the scope has now completely changed.  The Analytics Cloud will empower segmentation and customer profile engine for all bricks of the Experience Cloud. The role of the digital analyst is absolutely expanding by including more and more types of data. This is a area where Audience Manger excels with segmentation and modelling capabilities. Our goal is also empowering entreprises with strong analytics capabilites.

2. Virtual Analyst: years ago, we introduced anomaly detection. This helped our customers to understand the staticial significant trends in data. We always wanted to automate this process to make it easier for marketers in order to get their insights in their inbox. In October, we launched the intelligence alerts in order to put insights in inboxes, phones, etc… Right now, we have the ability to send an alert not just when a KPI went up or down, but also in a statistical meaningful way.

3. Segment Compare: we’ve improved the segment comparison by using machine learning with Adobe Sensei. Our customers are able to find automatically the statistical significance between segments, while it was taking them weeks of investigations before. This feature has been extremely well adopted and we have very good feedback.

4. Data Feed UI:  this feature shows are commitment to improve the customer experience. Before this, our customers have to make specific requests to Client Care, which was slowing down the whole process. This is what motivated us by making our customers lives better.

Nicolas Malo: With the new Adobe Analytics Cloud offering, how do you anticipate the job of digital analysts to evolve in the middle term?

Ben Gaines: A few years ago, we noticed the very beginning of trends, where, in very mature organizations, the digital analysts was doing more and more customer analysis. Increasingly, Digital Analysts needed access to more types of data. This is the reason why we release the Customer Attributes feature. In most organizations, this transformation is still taking place or hasn’t started yet. The digital analysts has a big advantage with understanding natively customer journey. The reason for that, is that digital data has always been journey oriented. We introduced pathing functionality a decade ago, whereas the traditional business intelligence and customer analytics is much more static, with little understanding of sequence and time between interactions. Digital analysts are in a better position to work with other types of data than other types of analysts. Because of that, I think that it makes perfect sense for the digital analyst and the marketer who is doing segmentation to be closely aligned and for the digital analytics to use what they know about customer journey to help marketers better segment their data.

Nicolas Malo: Will the implementation of Adobe Analytics change with your new Tag Management System called Adobe Launch?

Ben Gaines: The most exciting thing about Launch is the ability for both Adobe Solutions and third party solutions to build native connectors into the solution much easier. For Adobe Analytics, the biggest change is that it will give us away pre-build automated rules. In the future, if a customer wants to implement internal search, the rule will be automatically created in Launch.  Implementation will be more push buttons on things to track without writing javascript. Our main goal is to make the whole tagging process easier. Launch is a true platform where Adobe Analytics customers will be able to build the implementation they want.

Nicolas Malo: Which changes should we expect to see in Adobe Analytics during the next 12 months?

Ben Gaines: For the coming 12 months, our biggest focus is on :

  1. Realizing the vision of the Analytics Cloud and the Experience Cloud by supporting integration with the Adobe Cloud Platform, so that we can have a true customer profile that can be used the experience cloud.
  2. Making the device co-op available throughout Europe and elsewhere. It was officially launched in US last month. Our customers are achieving a significant match rate between different devices. The customer adoption for the device data co-op is growing rapidly.
  3. Ingesting more types of data into the Analysis workspace: data from Audience Manager will become available. We also want to improving our customer ability of using the data. No radical changes should be expected in the user interface though.

Nicolas Malo: Do you have any update regarding the rollout of cross-device & attribution analysis into Adobe Analytics?

Ben Gaines: It is already available with Data Workbench add-on based on visitor stitching. Telling the right attribution story in the right way remains a huge priority for us. We also believe that the future of marketing is people-based and not device-based. Data co-op is a definite cross-device solution getting closer to measuring real people. While we are actively working on the cross-device & attribution analysis features in Adobe Analytics, I cannot unfortunately provide an ETA at this time.